Ethnic diversity and a divided geography (6 major island groups) create a divided society. Tribes and political groups live together, but struggle to form a unified nation. Outside intervention brought peace in 2003 and disarmed the militias, but deep divisions remain. These language and culture barriers also inhibit Christian work. Each small ethnic group needs a different approach and language resources. Denominations divide along tribal lines. Pray that Christianity may take root in each group in a relevant way, and can overcome division. Pray for true forgiveness and reconciliation that come only through repentance. Without these, the nation can never truly progress.
Nominalism is a problem even though the Islands are overwhelmingly Christian. The Church has sometimes stagnated; a proper enculturation of the gospel would go a long way in overcoming this. The Baha'i, Jehovah's Witnesses and Unification Church prospered formerly; two different Islamic groups are now making inroads. Counterfeit Christian movements and quasi-Christian cults have also grown, and the old animistic worldview persists in some areas. Many Christians, even committed believers, drift from one group to the next, since most groups compete for members. The revivals of the past are in the past, and a new awakening is needed; pray for the Spirit to reinvigorate the many churches that possess such a strong spiritual heritage.
Local and grassroots ministries are coming into their own as expatriate ministries decline. A number of areas need special attention. Ministry to young people is vital, due to rapid population growth and the many young nominal Christians who need discipleship. SU, CEF, YWAM, Cru and others focus on work among youth. Other local agencies such as the Christian Care Centre (Anglicans), Haven in the Storm and Bible Way Centre minister to women and young people affected by recent upheavals. Prison ministry is also bearing much fruit, with especially high enrolment in Bible correspondence courses.
Ministries for focused prayer:
- Bible translation. Praiseworthy progress has been made, but many needs remain - only three languages have the whole Bible. The Bible in Solomons Pijin (the most widely used language) was completed in 2008. The NT was recently completed in Wala, Bughotu and Natugu. National believers are taking the initiative, and this long-underestimated ministry now receives the attention it deserves. Pray for the 19 translation projects shared by WBT, UBS and local believers; 28 more languages may still need translations. Pray also for the Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group (SITAG), which coordinates Bible translation and for the Solomon Islands Bible Translation and Literacy Partnership (SIBTLP), the fellowship of Solomon Islander translators.
- Christian hospitals and clinics are significant for the country, which has one of the highest incidences of malaria in the world.
- Education is one area where Christian ministries can have a positive impact, especially for girls, who tend to leave school early. The government invited churches to take over schools, and the SSEC and United Church have been active in this. New Hope International developed a programme to assist churches in making truly Christian schools. This is already bearing fruit in the lives of teachers and communities.
- Get all of this content and daily notifications in our free mobile app. Download here ›
- Sign up for a daily e-mail that gets you the featured prayer point of the day straight to your inbox.
- This content is a curated selection of points from our book, Operation World. Find out more about it and all the rest of Our Publications ›
Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.